Since being developed in the late 1980s, laser eye treatments have become a perennially popular option for people seeking vision correction. For many people it’s not only a viable, but desirable, option in comparison to wearing glasses or contact lenses for life. LASIK is the best-known name within the field of laser eye surgery; as of 2016, more than 40 million LASIK procedures have been carried out around the world. Today, it still remains a popular procedure for many people who are looking to correct their vision.
As a general rule, LASIK isn’t usually carried out until your script has stabilised, which usually occurs around late teens and early twenties for some. It also depends on the type of refractive error one has, whether it is short sightedness, long sightedness or astigmatism.
Side effects and complications with LASIK are relatively rare, though many people report experiencing dry eye and visual glare for a few weeks after undertaking the procedure. However, these side effects usually disappear relatively quickly and tend to be viewed as an inconvenience rather than a serious issue.
Although LASIK is a widely available treatment, it’s not suitable for everyone. It’s a treatment specifically designed to deal with short-sightedness, long-sightedness and astigmatism, so conditions beyond these may mean that laser eye surgery would not be a viable solution for vision correction. Additionally, conditions that cause a thinning of the cornea would also likely make a person an unsuitable candidate.
Symptoms such as eye floaters are usually quite benign, which does not interfere with one’s eligibility for LASIK treatment, and by having it, will not exacerbate or improve one’s condition. Additionally, patients with cataracts will not usually benefit from LASIK, due to the existing blurriness on the lens. However, after they have had surgery to correct cataracts, they may be appropriate
Age can also be a factor in whether LASIK is a suitable treatment, though this would need to be individually assessed by your eye specialist. The cut off for George St Eye Centre is 60 years old.
While from a purely medical stem point, there’s no specific upper age limit for getting LASIK eye surgery. It is known that its efficacy for vision correction can decrease as you age. Around the mid 40s, to early 50s, the natural crystalline lens starts to harden and becomes less flexible (loss of Accommodation). This age related reduction in near vision is known as presbyopia. This is partially why it’s so common for people who have never worn spectacles, do start requiring glasses — particularly reading glasses — around this age. Contrary to popular belief, the effects of presbyopia can be mitigated by inducing Monovision Configuration via LASIK. However, the asymmetry between the eyes may be difficult to tolerate for some. Other options may be investigated, such as lens replacement surgery or multifocal lens implants. This is a slightly more, but minimally invasive procedure. It is the only permanent solution. Once we reach the age of 60 and onwards, the chance of developing early lens opacities/cataracts becomes quite high. Hence, a lens based solution becomes more appropriate. It is a day procedure with a 20 -30 minute theatre time.
Are you interested in LASIK eye surgery? At the George St Eye Centre, Sydney’s premier laser eye surgery, we offer a range of corrective treatments to improve your vision. Dr. Con Moshegov is our resident ophthalmologist, whose areas of expertise are cataract and laser eye surgery, treating conditions affecting the anterior segment of the eye.
If you’re interested in finding out more, contact our expert team today to find out more about how we can help you live a life free from problems.